Complete List Of The Cars Albums And Songs

Cars Albums

Feature Photo: swimfinfan, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Complete List Of The Cars Albums And Songs looks at one of our favorite bands of all time, formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1976. The band consisted of Ric Ocasek (vocals, rhythm guitar), Benjamin Orr (vocals, bass), Elliot Easton (lead guitar, backing vocals), Greg Hawkes (keyboards, backing vocals), and David Robinson (drums, backing vocals). The Cars were one of the most original sounding bands to come out of the late 1970s rock periods. I will never forget heading Just What I Needed for the first time and thinking who is this?

The Cars released a total of seven studio albums: The Cars (1978), Candy-O (1979), Panorama (1980), Shake It Up (1981), Heartbeat City (1984), Door to Door (1987), and Move Like This (2011). The band also released numerous live albums, compilations, and achieved significant chart success with multiple singles hitting the Billboard charts. Their debut album alone was a major success, with the single “Just What I Needed” reaching the Billboard Hot 100. The Cars disbanded in 1988 but reunited in 2010 to release their final album, Move Like This. Over their career, The Cars were nominated for several awards, including the Grammy Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

The Cars

Released: June 6, 1978

The Cars was the debut studio album by the American rock band The Cars. It was an immediate success, both critically and commercially, establishing the band as a major force in the new wave movement. The album features a blend of rock, pop, and synthesizer-oriented music. Notable tracks include “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll,” which became enduring hits and received significant radio play. The album reached number 18 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified 6x Platinum in the US.

The album featured Ric Ocasek on rhythm guitar, lead vocals, Benjamin Orr on bass guitar, lead vocals, Elliot Easton on lead guitar, backing vocals, Greg Hawkes on keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, and David Robinson on drums, Syndrums, percussion. The Cars was produced by Roy Thomas Baker and recorded at AIR Studios in London, England, from February to April 1978.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Good Times Roll” – 3:44
  2. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – 3:44
  3. “Just What I Needed” – 3:44
  4. “I’m in Touch with Your World” – 3:31
  5. “Don’t Cha Stop” – 3:01
  6. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” – 4:13
  7. “Bye Bye Love” – 4:14
  8. “Moving in Stereo” – 4:41

Candy-O

Released: 1979

Candy-O is The Cars’ second studio album, following their successful self-titled debut. The album continued the band’s trend of combining rock and new wave elements, featuring a mix of uptempo tracks and ballads. Candy-O includes fan favorites such as “Let’s Go” and the title track “Candy-O.” The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, known for his work with Queen, and it showcased the band’s evolving sound with more pronounced synthesizers and a polished production.

The album featured the original lineup with Ric Ocasek on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, Benjamin Orr on bass, vocals, Elliot Easton on lead guitar, backing vocals, Greg Hawkes on keyboards, backing vocals, and David Robinson on drums, backing vocals. Candy-O was recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. This, my friends, was a great sophmore album.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Let’s Go” – 3:33
  2. “Since I Held You” – 3:16
  3. “It’s All I Can Do” – 3:44
  4. “Double Life” – 4:14
  5. “Shoo Be Doo” – 1:36
  6. “Candy-O” – 2:36
  7. “Night Spots” – 3:15
  8. “You Can’t Hold on Too Long” – 2:46
  9. “Lust for Kicks” – 3:52
  10. “Got a Lot on My Head” – 2:59
  11. “Dangerous Type” – 4:28

Panorama

Released: 1980

Panorama, The Cars’ third album, marked a departure from their earlier work, featuring a darker, more experimental sound. The album’s title track “Panorama” and “Touch and Go” were standout tracks, showcasing the band’s willingness to experiment with more complex arrangements and a moodier atmosphere. Panorama was produced by Roy Thomas Baker and recorded at Power Station in New York City. Their third album wasn’t bad, but it doesn’t compare to band’s first two records. The album featured the band’s classic lineup and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Panorama” – 5:42
  2. “Touch and Go” – 4:55
  3. “Gimme Some Slack” – 3:32
  4. “Don’t Tell Me No” – 4:00
  5. “Getting Through” – 2:35
  6. “Misfit Kid” – 4:31
  7. “Down Boys” – 3:07
  8. “You Wear Those Eyes” – 4:57
  9. “Running to You” – 3:22
  10. “Up and Down” – 3:31

Shake It Up

Released: 1981

With Shake It Up, The Cars returned to a more accessible, pop-oriented sound. The title track, “Shake It Up,” became one of the band’s most recognizable songs, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album also featured other notable tracks like “Since You’re Gone” and “I’m Not the One.” Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, Shake It Up was recorded at Syncro Sound Studio in Boston, reflecting the band’s roots and continued evolution in the new wave genre.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Since You’re Gone” – 3:30
  2. “Shake It Up” – 3:32
  3. “I’m Not the One” – 4:12
  4. “Victim of Love” – 4:24
  5. “Cruiser” – 4:56
  6. “A Dream Away” – 5:44
  7. “This Could Be Love” – 4:26
  8. “Think It Over” – 4:56
  9. “Maybe Baby” – 5:04

Heartbeat City

Released: 1984

Heartbeat City, The Cars’ fifth studio album, stands as one of their most successful and acclaimed works. The album spawned several hit singles, including “Drive,” “You Might Think,” “Magic,” and “Hello Again,” each accompanied by innovative music videos that received heavy rotation on MTV. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, known for his meticulous production style, the album featured a polished, radio-friendly sound that was both sophisticated and immediately appealing.

Recorded at Battery Studios in London, Heartbeat City was a significant commercial success, reaching number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album’s success was boosted by its cutting-edge music videos, which helped define the MTV era, making The Cars one of the most visually and sonically influential bands of the 1980s.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Hello Again” – 3:47
  2. “Looking for Love” – 3:52
  3. “Magic” – 3:57
  4. “Drive” – 3:55
  5. “Stranger Eyes” – 4:26
  6. “You Might Think” – 3:04
  7. “It’s Not the Night” – 3:49
  8. “Why Can’t I Have You” – 4:04
  9. “I Refuse” – 3:16
  10. “Heartbeat City” – 4:31

Door to Door

Released: 1987

Door to Door was The Cars’ sixth studio album and the last before their initial breakup in 1988. The album featured tracks like “You Are the Girl” and “Strap Me In,” which highlighted the band’s signature blend of rock and pop with synth-heavy arrangements. Produced by Ric Ocasek, the album marked a return to the band’s earlier, more raw sound, albeit with mixed critical reception.

Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Door to Door did not achieve the same level of commercial success as its predecessors but still managed to reach number 26 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album is often remembered for its reflective lyrics and solid rock performances, showcasing the depth and versatility of The Cars’ musical talents.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Leave or Stay” – 2:56
  2. “You Are the Girl” – 3:52
  3. “Double Trouble” – 4:14
  4. “Fine Line” – 5:22
  5. “Everything You Say” – 4:52
  6. “Ta Ta Wayo Wayo” – 2:52
  7. “Strap Me In” – 4:22
  8. “Coming Up You” – 4:18
  9. “Wound Up on You” – 5:01
  10. “Go Away” – 4:38
  11. “Door to Door” – 1:20

Move Like This

Released: 2011

Move Like This was The Cars’ seventh and final studio album, released in 2011 after a 24-year hiatus. The album marked the band’s reunion, albeit without bassist Benjamin Orr, who passed away in 2000. The album featured tracks like “Sad Song” and “Blue Tip,” which were reminiscent of the band’s classic sound, blending new wave synths with pop-rock elements. Produced by Jacknife Lee and The Cars, Move Like This was recorded at various studios, including Village Recorder in Los Angeles and Paul Orofino’s Millbrook Sound Studio in New York.

Despite the long gap between albums, Move Like This was well-received by fans and critics alike, peaking at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album was seen as a successful return to form for the band, capturing the essence of their earlier work while still sounding fresh and contemporary.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Blue Tip” – 3:13
  2. “Too Late” – 4:01
  3. “Keep on Knocking” – 3:52
  4. “Soon” – 4:23
  5. “Sad Song” – 3:38
  6. “Free” – 3:17
  7. “Drag on Forever” – 3:37
  8. “Take Another Look” – 4:46
  9. “It’s Only” – 3:01
  10. “Hits Me” – 3:51

THE CARS COMPILATION ALBUMS

Greatest Hits (1985)

Released: 1985

Greatest Hits is a compilation album by The Cars, released in 1985, encapsulating the band’s most successful and beloved songs from their career up to that point. This album serves as a comprehensive overview of The Cars’ influence and achievements in the rock and new wave genres, featuring tracks from their groundbreaking debut album through to their 1984 hit album Heartbeat City.

The album features key members Ric Ocasek (vocals, rhythm guitar), Benjamin Orr (vocals, bass), Elliot Easton (lead guitar, backing vocals), Greg Hawkes (keyboards, backing vocals), and David Robinson (drums, backing vocals), showcasing their collective talent across a series of hit tracks. Greatest Hits includes chart-topping singles like “Just What I Needed,” “You Might Think,” and the ballad “Drive,” providing a perfect introduction to The Cars’ sound and legacy.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Just What I Needed” – 3:44
  2. “Since You’re Gone” – 3:30
  3. “You Might Think” – 3:04
  4. “Good Times Roll” – 3:44
  5. “Touch and Go” – 4:55
  6. “Drive” – 3:55
  7. “Tonight She Comes” – 3:52
  8. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – 3:44
  9. “Heartbeat City” – 4:31
  10. “Let’s Go” – 3:33
  11. “I’m Not the One” – 4:12
  12. “Magic” – 3:57
  13. “Shake It Up” – 3:32

Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology (1995)

Released: 1995

Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology is an extensive two-disc compilation that delves deeper into The Cars’ catalog than any previous collection. It features not only the band’s hit singles but also album tracks, rarities, and previously unreleased material, offering a comprehensive overview of their career.

CD Track Listings:

Disc 1:

  1. “Just What I Needed” – 3:44
  2. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – 3:44
  3. “Good Times Roll” – 3:44
  4. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” – 4:13
  5. “Bye Bye Love” – 4:14
  6. “Moving in Stereo” – 4:41
  7. “Let’s Go” – 3:33
  8. “It’s All I Can Do” – 3:44
  9. “Dangerous Type” – 4:28
  10. “Touch and Go” – 4:55
  11. “Shake It Up” – 3:32
  12. “Since You’re Gone” – 3:30
  13. “I’m Not the One” – 4:12
  14. “You Might Think” – 3:04
  15. “Drive” – 3:55
  16. “Magic” – 3:57
  17. “Hello Again” – 3:47

Disc 2:

  1. “Why Can’t I Have You” – 4:04
  2. “Tonight She Comes” – 3:52
  3. “You Are the Girl” – 3:52
  4. “Strap Me In” – 4:22
  5. “Door to Door” – 1:20
  6. “Jellybean” (Previously Unreleased) – 3:35
  7. “Breakaway” (Previously Unreleased) – 3:46
  8. “Tonight She Comes” (Alternate Version) – 3:56
  9. “Take Another Look” – 4:46
  10. “Double Trouble” – 4:14
  11. “You Might Think” (Early Version) – 3:04
  12. “Drive” (Demo) – 3:55
  13. “One More Time” (Early Version) – 3:32
  14. “Everything You Say” – 4:52
  15. “Coming Up You Again” – 4:18
  16. “Door to Door” (Early Version) – 5:19

Shake It Up & Other Hits (2001)

Released: 2001

Shake It Up & Other Hits is part of the Flashback Records series, featuring a concise collection of The Cars’ most memorable tracks. This compilation focuses on the band’s upbeat and energetic songs, including the titular “Shake It Up,” which epitomizes The Cars’ ability to blend rock and new wave into catchy, pop-friendly tunes. The album serves as a snapshot of the band’s hit-making prowess during their peak years, with tracks selected from their prolific late ’70s and early ’80s period.

The compilation is designed for fans who want a quick dose of The Cars’ most infectious and lively tracks without diving into their deeper album cuts. It showcases the band’s knack for crafting hook-laden songs that were as suited for radio play as they were for the burgeoning MTV era, characterized by memorable melodies and synthesizer-driven arrangements.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Shake It Up” – 3:32
  2. “Just What I Needed” – 3:44
  3. “You Might Think” – 3:04
  4. “Drive” – 3:55
  5. “Tonight She Comes” – 3:52
  6. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – 3:44
  7. “Let’s Go” – 3:33
  8. “Magic” – 3:57
  9. “Touch and Go” – 4:55
  10. “Bye Bye Love” – 4:14

Complete Greatest Hits

Released: 2002

Complete Greatest Hits is a comprehensive collection of The Cars’ most iconic songs, meticulously compiled to include their biggest chart-toppers and fan favorites from throughout their career.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Just What I Needed” – 3:44
  2. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – 3:44
  3. “Good Times Roll” – 3:44
  4. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” – 4:13
  5. “Bye Bye Love” – 4:14
  6. “Moving in Stereo” – 4:41
  7. “Let’s Go” – 3:33
  8. “It’s All I Can Do” – 3:44
  9. “Dangerous Type” – 4:28
  10. “Touch and Go” – 4:55
  11. “Shake It Up” – 3:32
  12. “Since You’re Gone” – 3:30
  13. “I’m Not the One” – 4:12
  14. “You Might Think” – 3:04
  15. “Drive” – 3:55
  16. “Magic” – 3:57
  17. “Hello Again” – 3:47
  18. “Why Can’t I Have You” – 4:04
  19. “Tonight She Comes” – 3:52
  20. “You Are the Girl” – 3:52

Professional Sources, research, experience, and citations

Charting information used in the analysis and research of the commercial success of these songs comes from Billboard Magazine Charts

https://www.billboard.com/charts/

The Story Of Classic Rock

Other sources for important factual information include the band’s website

https://thecars.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cars

Further analysis and original thoughts are provided by the writer Brian Kachejian’s experience as a professional musician and music collector for over 50 years and his experience as a New York State certified music and history educator and professional music journalist with the New York Press.

These articles are updated regularly.

Complete List Of The Cars Albums And Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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